Monday, September 10, 2012

Fluff, put some clothes on!

Apparently my mind didn't realize that yesterday's day off was not the new norm. Since it was a new day I should be getting back to work, but that was easier said than done. I had the worst time getting a fire lit under me and starting anything. Now, this is not a new situation, I've bemoaned this fact before, and often. This is different because I actually I wanted to sew.
Yesterday while I was not Blogging I was still checking in to see what the people I follow were posting. One of the blogs I follow posts vintage Paper dolls. It's a really interesting site, and I love looking at paper dolls for inspiration. Their clothes are usually more colorful than regular clothes, and since they're a product of their time, they are wonderful sources of period clothing. Here's the link in case anyone is interested: Mostly Paper Dolls. Yesterday they posted a set of paper dolls based off the Chrissy doll. (The link I shared will take you directly to that post). I looked through the outfits to see if I liked any of them. I actually ended up liking several of them, so I copied all the pictures and stuck them into my "inspiration" folder. While most of them I couldn't see working for the dolls I'm currently working on, (most of the remaining dolls are vintage) I did have one doll that could easily wear several of these outfits, Living Fluff. I looked over all the outfits I liked and decided that for Fluff I wanted to make her the jumper with a shirt on the third page (the upside down one).
I wasn't going to make it exactly like was in the drawing, I clearly didn't have that fabric the jumper is made out of, and I also wanted to change some parts of the shirt. I was going to make it puffy sleeves, and make the collar a turtleneck instead of an actual folded down collar.
I stared off with the jumper. For the fabric I picked that bright green floral fabric that I used on P.J.'s outfit. For something I bought a while ago and haven't had anything successful come from it, it's gotten a lot of use this month. For the pattern I need to do some adapting. I was planning on using the Skipper pants with the fake pocket I adapted for Ricky, but I was going to make the legs wider. The original pants are close to the leg in that late 50's/early 60's style, but the ones I was making needed to be wider. Part of the reason I picked that outfit was because of the wider legs since it would be easier to dress her since she has the rubber legs that make pants and socks impossible to get on.
I ended up adding a half inch to all sides of the original pattern on the bottom, but when I made my test piece for it, it was way too big. I ended up taking out one of the adapted sides, so only one part of each pattern got the added half inch. I was feeling a bit cocky, so I didn't test it after that, and started cutting it out of the correct fabric. Even though I cut out the pants, I didn't start sewing them first. I actually started working with the tall waistband for the pants. On the drawing the pants are sort of high waisted, which I liked the look, but not the fact that they were high waisted. Instead I just made a tall waistband for the pants to connect to. My pants fall at the waist like normal. You've seen the waistband pattern, it's the one for Barbie's Let's Dance outfit. I just folded in the ends so they fit Fluff. It's also fully lined since I didn't want to deal with hemming it.
I got the entire jumper done in one sitting. I had to be really careful when sewing. I'm almost out of that bright green thread and I still need it so I can finish this outfit and P.J.'s, so I had to make sure I didn't mess up and have to rip stuff out. But it went together well, I seem to have decent luck with pants in general. I don't want to sound too conceited, but even back when I started sewing, pants were the clothing item that I had the highest success rate with. Although you wouldn't know it looking at the collection. Only nine people are wearing pants I've made, and most of those are men. I usually favor skirts for the women. Like I said, I got all the machine sewing done on the jumper today, there's lots of pins holding things together, but I can see that it's heading in the right direction.
I even started the shirt today too. I had put a temporary shirt on Fluff when I was working on the jumper so I could make sure the jumper was big enough to fit over the shirt when I was done. It was an older shirt, made for Skooter that was very similar to what I wanted for the final outfit. I honestly could have used it for the actual outfit, but there were a couple technical issues I didn't like with it. Also since her arms were that same rubber as her legs the sleeve holes were too small and a pain to get all the way up her arms, so I was going to make the shirt again.
For the pattern I picked the Skipper top I drafted for TNT Skipper last month. I looked over her before I started working on the shirt to see if I could figure out the reason for the tightness in the sleeves. I think that I made the front part of the bodice too narrow. When I was cutting out the shirt I shifted the pattern back a little, so it wasn't sitting directly on the fold. I fitted it on her after cutting it out, and it seemed to fit, so hopefully that was my problem with the original pattern and I've fixed it. I would love to have a decent working Skipper top.
For the collar I used a bit of white bias tape for it. It's easier than making a turtleneck collar my usual way. I even used the tape for the sleeves. When I cut out the puff sleeves I made them a bit longer. Then I pinned them into the bias tape, then I sewed them shut. This cuts down on the loose threads at the sleeves opening where her rubber arms will catch them and make the shirt look poorly made. The entire shirt went together pretty easily, I did have a problem with one sleeve not getting set in properly, and there's still some rippling in the shirt from it, but I can live with it.
And the best part is, I still like it! Now I have to finish it, but that's going to have to wait. Since I got such a late start today, I'm really late. And I don't have the patience, or the eyes to deal with it tonight.

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